Friday, May 13, 2011

Come Hell or High Water?

Today DH and I played tourist. We drove down to the river, which is about 20 miles from our home, and walked beside the submerged Mississippi River Greenbelt Park on Mud Island. The water actually crested on Tuesday morning (3 days ago) and has dropped about a foot since then. But it is still about 13 feet ABOVE flood stage!

There is a road that runs north and south on the island. The city of Memphis dumped/piled sand and gravel on the two lanes on the river side of this road, just in case the water rose enough to cover the road. The northern end of this road has been underwater for about a week, so presently, this southern end is the only access on and off the island, where many people live.

Above, I am standing on the driveway to one of the parking areas, which is submerged behind me.

Below, water, water everywhere!

Looking north along the ridge, you can see the driftwood that was deposited in previous days when the water was higher. Amazing how much stuff there is floating in that water!

The trees in the distance that are sticking up out of the water are pretty close to where the usual river bank is. Beyond that is the actual river channel.

The knit top I am wearing in these pictures is one that was recently made using my new drafting softward (Pattern Master Knits by Wild Ginger). I'll tell you more about this one as well as a couple of other tops in my next post.

Just trying to give a bit of perspective, but these pictures don't do any kind of justice to the magnitude of the flood. This water is lapping at the bank like the ocean on the beach! Farther toward the bridge (background), there were white caps!

We drove around to the Harbor side of the island to see how things looked. Above you can see the harbor between the island and the city of Memphis, as well as the bridge that provides access to Mud Island. The Pyramid is just on the other side of this bridge. Of course, with no knowledge of what this SHOULD look like, you probably don't appreciate how high this water is. But a few days ago, this parking lot was also flooded.

Here, you can see the debris on the side of the house, marking a previous water line from when the water crested. Normally, this home on the harbor side of the island is a bit farther from the water than it currently is!

These condos on the opposite side of the parking lot have placed a wall of sandbags all along the garages in an attempt to keep the homes dry. I hope it worked!

We enjoyed our walk, followed by lunch at Tugs, a restaurant in the Harbor Town area, also on the island.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Whether you ARE a mother, or have a mother, or have had a mother,

I decided to go 'green' for Mom's gift this year:

I recycled a NIKE paper bag to use for the gift wrap, using bits of tissue paper and fabric to cover (somewhat) the Nike symbol in the lower corner. I wrapped the handle with fabric and added wooden beads to the ends.

For her gift, I decided to make a pair of pot holders, similar to the ones I made Joyce just a couple of weeks ago.

I like making gifts for people.

I tend to think about that person during the time that I am working.

Yes, I could go out and BUY a gift in much less time, but that is much less personal.

This time, I used the Insul-Bright that I had purchased at the quilt show in Paducah last month. Even though this 'batting' is supposed to prevent the heat from reaching your hand, you STILL have to add a second layer of cotton batting on the heat side of the holder, so the Insul-Bright will not come in contact with the hottest heat. I am wondering if just using cotton batting and flannel isn't just as good (?).

I layered one piece of the Insul-Brite and one layer of cotton batting between two layers of batik fabric. I had fused a leaf cut-out onto the top layer.

Before I stitched the layers together, I decided to satin stitch around each leaf first.
Then I put the layers together and used a 3-step straight stitch to do the veins.

Next, I stitched over the original leaf outlines again; this made the satin stitching fuller and quilted the layers together.

Then, like before, I cut this 'sandwich' to the desired shape and stitched a folded bias strip around the edge. I stopped the stitching just as I reached the original, so I could fold the underlayer over to the front.

To finish that cut end, I folded over about 3/4" and pressed it before folding it back in half.

Then I pressed that 1/4" seam allowance down.

Lastly, the loop extension was pressed in raw edges.

While this worked really well at eliminating raw edges, it was a bear to sew across all those thicknesses to stitch down the loop!

But the end result turned out really well.

I think I might like these even better than the first ones I made!

Shhh! Don't tell Joyce...

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! :)

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